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Users plan to migrate Active Directory to Windows Server 2003

Apr 28, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft

* Active Directory plans of respondents to a NetPro survey

At the recent Directory Experts Conference, which NetPro put on in Reston, Va., at the end of March, some attendees had some remarkable things to say in the survey that was carried out at the show.

The one question that leaped out at me, at least in the context of this newsletter, was “Does your company plan to migrate Active Directory to Windows Server 2003?”

Some 40% of the 100 attendees who were surveyed said the migration was planned for this year, while 8% said there were plans to do it next year.

The surprise (to me) was that 49% indicated they had completed their migration. Four percent reported no plans to migrate, but I surmise they may be independent software vendors that write Active Directory-enabled applications and have no need to run a production version of the directory in-house.

After the very slow take-up of Windows Server 2000, which included the first release of Active Directory, many felt that it would take a couple of years at least before users were ready to possibly disrupt their networks while moving to the new version. Quite a few of us (i.e., the pundits who try to prognosticate the future of Microsoft) even thought that Redmond’s creation of Active Directory/Application Mode (ADAM) was a reaction to people’s desire to avoid Active Directory in the enterprise. Yet, of the 97% of survey respondents who indicated a move to Win 2003 with Active Directory was either planned or already accomplished, only 46% indicated that ADAM was something they were planning to take advantage of.

Clearly, then, ADAM is being relegated to software developers, vendors and de-centralized departmental networks with only a 50-50 chance of integrating to the enterprise directory. A quarter more respondents, in fact (61% of the survey total) indicated they would be using Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) as a way of tying together diverse identity data sources. It appears the 46% who will use ADAM are also planning to use MIIS to integrate ADAM with their enterprise directory system, but the others have plans to bring together (and synchronize, one would think) most Microsoft services (SQL Server, Exchange, etc.) as well as competing products (Lotus, eDirectory, etc.).

It is very heartening, to be sure, especially for those of us who have preached the gospel of Active Directory for the past five or six years. If you’re still hesitating to make the move up to Win 2003, though, please drop me a note (the address is at the bottom of this newsletter) and tell me what your reasons are. I promise I won’t laugh, or scold, but I will consider all of them. In a couple of weeks, when we look at the survey results from the European Directory Experts Conference, I’ll compare the two audiences but I’ll also bring up any concerns you may have voiced about making that migration. Stay tuned.